- Japan ('07, 2009-10, 2013), Denmark ('08, '11), Korea (2013), France ('08), Thailand ('09), China ('10)
The above will search this blog.


Eugene or bust

crazy clouds gateway mall eugene springfield oregon

Crazy clouds from Gateway Mall (Springfield, Oregon)

My random image of the day was this one from early last year. We were in Eugene and had to escape to the mall as this storm was dumping large amounts of rain on parts of town.

Tomorrow we will head back up I-5 to drop Ryan off for his first year of college at the University of Oregon.

Hello Kitty train on the way to Universal Studios Osaka

universal studies train hello kitty usj

USJ Hello Kitty train – JR Yumesaki Line

Copenhagen evening

copenhagen after dark nyhavn

Nyhavn after dark (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Playoff clinchings

albert pujols los angeles angels

Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

A little over a month ago I was on my way to Mexico and all was right with the MLB world. The A’s had the best record in baseball and looked like a lock for the division title and a playoff spot. Things have gone horribly wrong since then. The Angels have won the vast majority of their games in the second half and currently own the best record in the bigs. They are also headed to the post season while the A’s are barely hanging on to a wild card spot. Maybe the tides are due for another change?

Comforting the noble souls of the war dead

model 96 15cm howitzer yasukuni

Model 96 15cm howitzer @ Yasukuni Shrine (Tokyo, Japan)

model 96 15cm howitzer yasukuni descriptions

Samurai Revolution

samurai revolution awa katsu book recommendation meiji jidai edo

I finished this book by Romulus Hillsborough today. I thought I knew a lot about the end of feudalism in Japan and the beginnings of the Meiji Era, but most of the contents of this book were new to me. I highly recommend reading it.

Some of my favorite parts dealt with places I have visited in Japan. For instance, the story of Katsu Kaishu (勝海舟) having to make a large donation to Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社) before they would take his sword, a symbol of the historic peace accord he had just negotiated on Miyajima, brought back fond memories of my time there (as well as memories of how shrines ask for money for just about everything, including offerings required for the shrine to burn the object that you had to pay the shrine for to use as a good luck charm the prior year).

You will also learn about the entire back story that ultimately resulted in this statue in Ueno (and why it is in Ueno).

I’ve spent many hours in Akasaka in Tokyo so hearing about what it was like in the 19th Century was fascinating.

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